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Rising U.S. Earnings Inequality and Family Labor Supply: The Covariance Structure of Intrafamily Earnings

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  • Dean R. Hyslop

Abstract

This paper studies the labor supply contributions to individual and family earnings inequality during the period of rising wage inequality in the early 1980's. Working couples have positively correlated labor market outcomes, which are almost entirely attributable to permanent factors. An intertemporal family labor supply model with this feature is used to estimate labor supply elasticities for husbands of 0.05, and wives of 0.40. This implies that labor supply explains little of the rising annual earnings inequality for married men, but over 20 percent of the rise in family inequality and 50 percent of the modest rise in female inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean R. Hyslop, 2001. "Rising U.S. Earnings Inequality and Family Labor Supply: The Covariance Structure of Intrafamily Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 755-777, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:91:y:2001:i:4:p:755-777
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.91.4.755
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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